The pulse oximeter is an instrument that enables us to measure how fast the saturation of hemoglobin arterial oxygen and to detect possible complications. Equipment is used more and more by health professionals, due to its simplicity and its performance, some doubts remain nevertheless about the measures and the results that it gives.
How does it work ?
The oximeter is composed of 2 parts : – the sensor usually in the form of finger stalls or pliers to fingers, or sticky tapes, etc, It contains two diodes that emit two beams of red and infrared light, allowing to deduce the saturation pulse oxygen (SpO2) through the atoms of iron attached to the hemoglobin. It is for this reason that the pulse oximeter is often attached to one end (finger, ear lobe or toe) ; – the monitor that allows the adjustment of the measurement of SpO2, fixed alarm limits and displays the curve of the wave pulsatile available on certain models of oximeter.
Can we rely on the pulse oximeter ?
The need to perceive a signal pulsatile may cast doubt on the result given by the device as when the patient is in circulatory arrest or in a situation where the blood circulates poorly, where is placed the sensor in the device does not work or works poorly: as, for examples, the cases of vasoconstriction, low blood flow, or hypothermia, etc., The nail varnish can also distort the measurement; or even, a carbon monoxide poisoning. The device in this case does not distinguish between hemoglobin intoxicated or not. To make it more reliable the results of the oximeter, experts have set a standard that allows for today no longer doubt the reliability of the device. Points related in particular to the SpO2 minimum acceptable for safe and effective use. This standard 8061-2-61, updated in 2011 with its implications refines the results of the oximeter and make them more reliable.
How to choose a pulse oximeter ?
Before purchasing, verify that the device meets the standard 8061-2-61; such as those proposed by Médiprostore, the boutique of online sale of medical equipment. If not, ensure that the inaccuracy of the results is specified by the manufacturer, and less than 4% between 70% and 99% of SpO2.